We are aware of the numerous benefits of yoga. While it seems all simple, there are certain yoga asanas that most beginners cannot really practice the correct way or hold for too long. One such yoga asana that most of us cannot hold for too long is the vajrasana aka the thunderbolt pose as it can make your feet feel extremely numb.
What is a vajrasana?
It’s a kneeling pose which derives its name from the Sanskrit word Vajra, which means diamond or thunderbolt, and asana, which means pose. The pose is beneficial in activating the Vajra Nadi and obstructs blood flow to thighs and legs and increases flow to the pelvic area and stomach.
It promotes good digestion and aids liver functions and relieves conditions of sciatica, nerve issues. In fact, vajrasana is the only yoga asana that can be done on a full stomach and should be practiced right after having a meal.
Why do most of us feel numb while holding vajrasana?
While vajrasana has umpteen health benefits, as mentioned, most of us find it difficult to hold this pose for even five minutes. Either our feet become numb, or we end up with a sprain. Clearly, that’s not a good sign.
Himalayan Siddha Akshar, Founder, Akshar Yoga Research and Development Centre, tells Health Shots that it is mostly because we are so used to sitting on chairs and have lost the practice of sitting on the floor.
“Most of the time, the numbness is caused because some blood circulation is cut off in the particular alignment of vajrasana. But after you release yourself from the posture and shake your legs out, the numbness will naturally recede,” he says.
What can you do to avoid it?
The first and foremost thing to do is to prepare your body for the pose by warming up thoroughly before sitting in vajrasana.
“For this, you can practice Siddha Walk, which is also known by the names of infinity walk, yoga walk, and mind walk. This is walking in the shape or tracing the shape of a figure eight, which is also an infinity symbol. You can do this for 21 minutes in both directions. The Siddha Walk needs to begin from South to north direction and then reverse the process for the same duration of time,” says Grand Master Akshar.
Tips to hold vajrasana longer
1. Start stretching. After you sit for a really long time, always stretch a little.
2. Not just walking, try jogging, cycling, or climbing stairs in order to get stronger legs.
3. One can start by sitting in vajrasana only for 2 to 3 minutes initially. Then, slowly increase the duration of holding the pose.
4. Keep a pillow below your feet or knees to support the vajrasana longer.
When to worry?
While some numbness is common while performing vajrasana, it shouldn’t happen repeatedly.
“Since yoga is a holistic practice, this form of numbness is completely natural and there is nothing for us to be concerned about. However, if this numbness occurs repeatedly, then you must carefully observe yourself and then seek out a medical opinion,” he explains.
Last but not the least, numbness in the feet is a common occurrence and many people who may not be used to the posture will experience this. So, to reap the benefits, don’t worry and start practicing, that’s all.